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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
The X5 SAV Forum

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  #1  
Old 02-11-2011, 03:13 PM
Mbmw540i Mbmw540i is offline
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Location: NJ
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 24
Mein Auto: X5 4.8is, 550i
Air Suspension Conversion to Standard Suspension

I've successfully removed my air ride suspension:

Well, I recently purchased a 05 X5 4.8is with only 52k mls. Within only days of buying it I had trouble with the air suspension, which started out as a bag front strut and escalated to a bad computer module and then air compressor. So I decided to get rid of the air suspension.

I will post a write up later, but for now, for those interested. I have successfully removed the air suspension and replaced with OEM Shocks/Struts/Springs. X5 sits about the same height as the middle setting on the air ride and rides about the same. Maybe a tad stiffer... Next step is to get the air ride removed from the computer, so the error goes away on the dash.
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2011, 08:02 PM
jussimple jussimple is offline
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Location: Fredericksburg, VA
 
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Mein Auto: x5 4.8is, 325i Sport+Mods
I'd be interested in that write up. I just had the air ride serviced, had to replace the front left air bag and all the trouble with reprogramming the computer for the proper ride height. I'm really interested in seeing how it affects your handling over time. My 2006 x5is is still on warranty until 2016 but I don't feel like spending most of that time driving back and forth to my mechanic. If you don't mind, how about a cost break down when you do the write up? Just a thought.
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  #3  
Old 02-11-2011, 08:26 PM
bmwhumber bmwhumber is offline
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Location: wayne, nj
 
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Mein Auto: 2012 528xi
Wow good job.mine cost me 1600 $$ for refurnished 2 front air shock 1000$ for the pieces 600$ for the dealer.so far so good after 10k miles
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  #4  
Old 02-12-2011, 04:47 PM
jussimple jussimple is offline
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Location: Fredericksburg, VA
 
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Mein Auto: x5 4.8is, 325i Sport+Mods
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwhumber View Post
Wow good job.mine cost me 1600 $$ for refurnished 2 front air shock 1000$ for the pieces 600$ for the dealer.so far so good after 10k miles
What were the signs that you had to work on your suspension? I'd like to know so that I can be ready for it when, not if, it happens to me.
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  #5  
Old 02-12-2011, 07:19 PM
bmwhumber bmwhumber is offline
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Location: wayne, nj
 
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Mein Auto: 2012 528xi
The signs were I woke up in the morning and I noticed the truck getting lower as soon as I turn on the engine the truck goes up u can heAr the Air pump running you will feel every little pump at the rode +20 inch and must up sport susp u don't feel safe at all it's nightmare. No messages on the dash board YET. After 2-3 weeks the susp stayed down it won't go up I tow it to the dealer u know the rest of story
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  #6  
Old 02-12-2011, 07:55 PM
jussimple jussimple is offline
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Location: Fredericksburg, VA
 
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Mein Auto: x5 4.8is, 325i Sport+Mods
Wow, nightmare indeed. I haven't had that issue yet and I hope not to. $1600 for the repair and you were good. I'm just worried that I'll have to replace them all eventually. I'll face that when i get to it but for now I'll just keep my fingers crossed. Thanks for the information.
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  #7  
Old 02-13-2011, 06:27 PM
Mbmw540i Mbmw540i is offline
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Location: NJ
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Mein Auto: X5 4.8is, 550i
The airbags are not the biggest worry. My X5 needed a new computer module $1,000 retail and a new air compressor $1,000 retail. Then the air struts/shocks are only good for so long. Then there's the labor....
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  #8  
Old 02-13-2011, 06:46 PM
bmwhumber bmwhumber is offline
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Location: wayne, nj
 
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Mein Auto: 2012 528xi
Check this wep before u buy anything they have the air pump for half price http://www.arnottindustries.com/
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  #9  
Old 02-13-2011, 07:01 PM
jussimple jussimple is offline
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Location: Fredericksburg, VA
 
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Mein Auto: x5 4.8is, 325i Sport+Mods
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwhumber View Post
Check this wep before u buy anything they have the air pump for half price http://www.arnottindustries.com/
Thanks for the site. I just bookmarked it and will definitely keep it in the back of my mind.
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  #10  
Old 02-13-2011, 07:17 PM
Mbmw540i Mbmw540i is offline
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Location: NJ
 
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Mein Auto: X5 4.8is, 550i
The air pump is not for the 4.8 model or other X5's with front and rear air suspension. Its for rear air setups only. But they do have the airbags, I actually bought a front air strut from them before finding out I needed a new module and compressor.
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  #11  
Old 02-15-2011, 11:25 AM
swipe swipe is offline
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Location: UK
 
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Mein Auto: E30 325i Black Touring
I will post a write up later, but for now, for those interested. I have successfully removed the air suspension and replaced with OEM Shocks/Struts/Springs. X5 sits about the same height as the middle setting on the air ride and rides about the same. Maybe a tad stiffer... Next step is to get the air ride removed from the computer, so the error goes away on the dash.[/QUOTE]

Hi I'd be interested in reading the write up with any pics as well would be of great help, I was thinking of removing the air ride on my 2001 4.4 as it has just thrown up a sensor fault but that could just be the start of things.
Everything I've read on the net about the air ride is that when it starts to go it can cost the amount to buy another car. Would you be able to recode or disable the computer with a BMW 1.4 scanner
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  #12  
Old 04-14-2011, 11:23 AM
br2355 br2355 is offline
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Location: Massachusetts
 
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Mein Auto: 2005 X5 4.4
My air bags needed replacment last December. The ride suddenly became extremely bumpy, the lights flashed not to exceed 20 MPH, no kidding, I couldn't go over any bumps without feeling like it was a go-cart.
Merry Christmas, bags and front axle was over $3000. The Self Leveling Light kept coming on after being re-set at the dealer, they replaced the sensors for another $500 but the message kept returning. After getting my money back for the sensors, I decided to live with the flashing lights. The compressor works, I hear it now and then, but I cant operate the up/down switch.
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  #13  
Old 04-17-2011, 10:30 PM
CJones CJones is offline
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Location: Calgary
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 X5
Thumbs down 2001X5 Air Suspension

Just purchased used 2001. 217K kms. Suspension works well for front and no air leaks known but if I take a dip in the road it tries to buck me off the seat. Has anyone else experienced this?
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  #14  
Old 05-01-2011, 04:14 PM
mikemcn mikemcn is offline
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Location: Lex, KY
 
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Mein Auto: X5 4.8is, 535i x-drive
Time for that write-up.
Steps, costs, all the goods, please!

Thanks in advance.
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  #15  
Old 05-07-2011, 05:51 PM
unhappyx5owner unhappyx5owner is offline
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Location: USA
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2003 x5 4.4l
I had mine in the shop when I first got it (2003 X5 4.4l) 5 times for suspension issue. Finally fixed and no issues until today. had Front axles replaced and when I picked it up, was on the frame and the error back "Self level suspension in-activated". Any body know how to get it back on? I hope it was from when they lifted the car to replace axles.
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  #16  
Old 07-11-2011, 04:00 PM
imperials imperials is offline
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Location: england
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Mein Auto: bmw x5 3.0d sport
hi i need to do the conversion i have 4 wheel air suspension on a 2004 x5 d sport , please can some one point me in the right direction as my x5 supension has dropped all round and want to get rid of it and put coil springs , please help
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  #17  
Old 11-17-2011, 12:13 PM
Alejandro Alejandro is offline
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Location: TEXAS
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: BMW X5 4.4 2002
please someone knows how can i fix or rebuilt an X5 2002 left front air shock it has a knocking, the airbag is ok please help me i don't want spend 1000dlls
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  #18  
Old 07-27-2012, 09:45 AM
CJones CJones is offline
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Location: Calgary
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 2001 X5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbmw540i View Post
I've successfully removed my air ride suspension:

Well, I recently purchased a 05 X5 4.8is with only 52k mls. Within only days of buying it I had trouble with the air suspension, which started out as a bag front strut and escalated to a bad computer module and then air compressor. So I decided to get rid of the air suspension.

I will post a write up later, but for now, for those interested. I have successfully removed the air suspension and replaced with OEM Shocks/Struts/Springs. X5 sits about the same height as the middle setting on the air ride and rides about the same. Maybe a tad stiffer... Next step is to get the air ride removed from the computer, so the error goes away on the dash.
When you say OEM you must mean BMW parts but were there after market struts/shocks that you investigated?
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  #19  
Old 09-01-2013, 05:15 PM
donnie30 donnie30 is offline
donnie30
Location: Franklin, TN
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: X5 4.8is, e30 s52
X5 spring conversion

I have had my Le,mans Blue X5 4.8is and want to convert it to springs. Could use the sources to purchase all the parts. I'm good with it being a bit stiffer. I'm considering the Eibach and Bilstien route but all the kits say not for 4.8is. This is where I need a souree. I am ready to buy tonight. I miss driving my truck (aka Wolverine). I've been driving my 30 S52 every day and will get a ticket soon.

Donnie30
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  #20  
Old 09-01-2013, 05:29 PM
Mbmw540i Mbmw540i is offline
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Location: NJ
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 24
Mein Auto: X5 4.8is, 550i
you won't find standard shocks for the 4.8 because it was not available without air suspension. So you'll have to order the 4.4 Bilsteins. as for springs, you can use the factory springs from the 4.4 or go with an aftermarket setup. I used the OEM shocks/springs from a 4.4 with sport package, got everything from a junk yard for $400. I wanted to see how it all worked before investing money in Bilsteins. With the 4.4 springs, the X5 sits at about the middle position with the air suspension. I believe all the after market springs will be shorter. so its up to you on personal preference. when i converted my X5, i couldn't find any info on height, so by starting with the cheap parts from the junk yard, it gave me a starting point.
The X5 rides exactly the same in my opinion with the factory springs/shocks compared to the air suspension. I'm sure with the Bilsteins it will ride awesome. My brother has the X5 now, and he's ready for Bilsteins!

Hope that helps!
Matt
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  #21  
Old 09-02-2013, 08:57 AM
donnie30 donnie30 is offline
donnie30
Location: Franklin, TN
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: X5 4.8is, e30 s52
what year parts can I use?

forgot to ask what year 4.4 sport struts can I use to convert my 05 4.8is air springs out?
thanks!
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  #22  
Old 09-02-2013, 09:25 AM
Mbmw540i Mbmw540i is offline
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Location: NJ
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 24
Mein Auto: X5 4.8is, 550i
05 and 06 are the last years of the E53, but i dont remember what years are the same. to be safe use the same year or 06. Dealer could probably tell you what years these parts changed.
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  #23  
Old 09-15-2013, 01:26 AM
itscoo2pyopants itscoo2pyopants is online now
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Location: Kent, WA
 
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Posts: 65
Mein Auto: e46 / e53
Anyone have a list of parts and part numbers needed for this conversion?
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  #24  
Old 02-23-2014, 01:36 PM
Jack Freeman Jack Freeman is offline
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Location: Los Angeles
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: BMW X5 4.8is
Self Level Inactive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbmw540i View Post
I've successfully removed my air ride suspension:

Well, I recently purchased a 05 X5 4.8is with only 52k mls. Within only days of buying it I had trouble with the air suspension, which started out as a bag front strut and escalated to a bad computer module and then air compressor. So I decided to get rid of the air suspension.

I will post a write up later, but for now, for those interested. I have successfully removed the air suspension and replaced with OEM Shocks/Struts/Springs. X5 sits about the same height as the middle setting on the air ride and rides about the same. Maybe a tad stiffer... Next step is to get the air ride removed from the computer, so the error goes away on the dash.

Hey brother can you please post the pictures of your ride? And was there any differences after converting your x5 during this years?
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